Jamie felt that she would be betraying everyone. She’d always been the popular one, the one everybody turned to in good times and bad times, as the saying went. She felt that she had to go, even though her heart wasn’t in it.
What kept her from simply going? Was it, she wondered, that if she went she’d, in some way, be betraying herself? And Jamie had a very strong sense of self. She knew who she was and liked herself, had always liked herself.
Even as a young child, when she seemed different from the other kids, Jamie went about things with a confidence that the other children seemed to lack. But that confidence didn’t manifest itself in negative ways as it might have, but positive in all directions. Alone or with other kids Jamie seemed to be happy – content when alone by herself and happy to join in with others, especially as she, for whatever reason, was usually the center of attention.
It wasn’t that Jamie didn’t enjoy being the center of attention either, she certainly did, but she didn’t need it. She simply accepted that there was a certain magnetism to her personality, or whatever it was, and everyone gathered around her.
Now she had the dilemma of choosing. All of that was far behind her and her life had moved on in so many ways. She still had the same personal attributes that put her in the same position whenever and wherever she went, but going back, as she saw it, might not be as happy for her as it would be, she knew, for everyone else.
She read and re-read the note repeatedly. The date was set. If she procrastinated much longer the choice would be removed, it would be too late.
She looked out the window at the clouds rapidly floating across the horizon, as if they would tell her what to do. They played with her fantasy of ideas, somehow forming patterns that she imagined were scenes being played out both ways. She watched and then saw a group of clouds bunching together with one in the center. Was that her and everyone she’d known gathered around, she wondered? Was it a sign? And if so, was it a good or bad one?
Jamie sat and watched the clouds for several more minutes before putting the RSVP to her high school reunion in the return envelope with the declined box checked.
Like the clouds, Jamie now felt free of any fetters, free to choose her life’s path and going back or looking back could only be exactly that, going back.
She sealed the envelope, put a stamp on it and set it aside to take to the outgoing mail box.
Jamie was happy.